Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums banner

LED brake light replacement? Spiderlites?

3468 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  PaulXyZ
So I was going through the Jan07 Four Wheeler magazine and on pages 83-84 they talk about replacing the tail lights with LED Spiderlites. But it says they aren't legal yet due to them not pulling the right amount of juice and the car thinks the bulb it out.
So I went to the website and they have a bulb that will fit the X and they even sell a resistor to compensate for the LED not using enough juice.
But right on the website it says these may not be legal for onroad use.
Does anyone know the legality of using LED brake lights?
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
I just went through this on another car.
The issue is that the draw of juice (Amps) is so small the vehicle does not detect it. It's a safety issue because if you set the cruise and go like 70 and tap the brake to turn it off, the auto won't turn the cruise off and you cruise right on into the back of some Semi. It's like having the throttle stuck on.
Ok so, I go check out the "KIT" they sell that are resisters. $18 All it is is same resisters they sell at radio shack for $1.79 They make a draw, in fact such a large one it's not worth the price you spend on the lights, in my case I was looking to saving the draw and that is why I went LED.
The resisters actually draw more amps than a factory bulb, they even generate heat! = Lots of battery drain, concern if you broke down and had 911 lights flashing for an hour or so.

So, what I did was just install a license plate light in line (Very small bulb) but enough to trip the cruise and make the flasher work. because with LED the flasher also won't work because it can't detect the draw.

So you can take care of that problem with the radio shack resistors, (I can get you PN) or a bulb in line.

Now, as far as the LEDs being legal. I guess they would be after you installed a resistor or bulb to make the cruise trip because I can't see them being illegal for lack of light, but you have to check that out.

See less See more
So, what I did was just install a license plate light in line
USMC, that's a cool solution... where did you mount the license plate bulb... out of sight?
Yea I just put one in the + line (Interior) and grounded it and kinda hid it. It was a better solution in my case because I was wanting to save electricity.
But I am still kinda pissed that someone has not come up with a flasher that solves the problem because it CAN be done. The flasher just needs to see a load.
By the way, you have to use an electronic flasher not thermal. Most late model cars have electronic I would think but I could be wrong.
OH and I forgot also a flasher with 3 prongs designates one that shows when a light is out, you can bypass that by bending back the third prong. Or just buy a two prong as 3rd prong only serves purpose to leave one interior turn indicator on when a bulb burns out. Check your lights though. easily invent
Wanna get rich? LED Flashers for turns and 911 lights.
Truck lights have this built in, imagine that?
See less See more
I just pulled out all the rear bulbs, and went for a drive. I set the cruise at 35 and used the brakes to deactivate the cruise setting with no problems.

I'm having a hard time immagining that low draw from the brake lights would cause cruise control to malfunction. If those two units were even working in unison, I can't immagine a slave unit like the brake lights, having any effect over the CC unit.
Nexium lawyers
I read about that from or the site he suggest getting parts to fix the problem from. Not all vehicles work the same way. I'd imagine they are making certain they don't work that way since so many people use LED now. Still what I said is the solution. Someone here has LED lights already installed, look for that post I think they describe the solution also. MC
Thanks guys.

I assuming this is the thread

you are talking about. But from what I've been reading it looks like a lot of the LEDs are burning out due to being over amped so they are brighter.
I think I'll hang on for a bit to see how things work out.
Smart move. Factory lights have a good bit of warranty left yet. Cheap is good free is best. MC
you'd be ok if you put voltage regulators in line, that'll also help prevent spikes beefing up the LED's.
It can be done and done right, but it takes so much effort to do it, that it is not worth it. I would think that If I were an manufacturer, I would make the light and all proper hardware to install them and keep everything working right.

But seriously. Although LEDS are god for extra life, they are not that good in all situations as the LED light is so directional. We are taking them off the sides of our trailers because we can't see any lights in the mirrors like you can with regular lights.

However, we are just a few years from LED headlamps! I read that a few days ago.

I've had a handful of LED smoke or go flakey on my '05 350Z - in less than 2000 miles. I too think that they're overdriving the LED's to make them brighter (not smart). In the Z you get the hyperflash where the blinkers run about three times faster to warn you that the bulb is out. Putting a 5 watt 3 ohm resistor in line works - you do need a big metal cased resistor as these things suck down powerful amounts of power. On the Z I did it for looks - wouldn't think about doing it to the X.

(might to the license plate as the hyper-white really makes a difference there)
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.